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Euphorbia Species, African Milk-Barrel

Euphorbia polygona

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (Info)
Species: polygona (pol-LIG-go-nuh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Corona, California

Mission Viejo, California

Perris, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 23, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- My Euphorbia polygona nivea is only two years old, but seems to be happy in its spot. It is planted in the ground and has full winter shade and partial summer. It gets once-a-month summer water and no winter water except what little rain happens. It is under a tall fabric cold frame so doesn't risk frost damage.


On Jan 29, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Like the similar looking Euphorbia horridus, this is a sought after landscape plant in Southern California, and old plants can be quite costly. Both these species make great landscape plants for smaller, dry, neat xeriscape gardens, eventually suckering into attractive colonies or 'cities'. These plants are extremely drought tolerant, but also handle a good deal of water surprisingly if planted in very well draining soil. They will rot if planted in clay soils, though. I have handled these and E horridus and never had any sap get on me from just routine handling. However, I have gotten the sap on me for other reasons and it was not in the least bit irritation... many people vary in their sensitivity to Euphorbia saps. Differs from E horridus in having purply to maroon flowers (as com... read more


On Aug 28, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

Like all Euphorbia HANDLE WITH CARE, the latex/sap is dangerous and can cause skin rash, itching and general discomfort.